“When I go to prison, be my voice. When I am martyred or anything else happens to me, be my voice. Let’s be each other’s voice. We have to be united. We should not be afraid of them. . . If we are afraid of them, we are empowering them. We want to take that power from them!”
These are the bold, resounding words from the mouth of young Bita Shafiei, an Iranian student, in her recently leaked self-taped video amidst her truancy from the authorities.
Days prior to the making of this video, Bita had been arrested for standing in protest against the corrupt Iranian system.
During her trial, she slapped the judge in court and showed him her middle finger.
Following this dauntless act of defiance, she was tortured, and that same finger was broken by the authorities in efforts to silence her.
Yet, she was not silenced.
Following her release on bail, she swiftly released this compelling call to action, begging others to stand in solidarity with her, which has now been leaked beyond Iran’s internet barriers.
Shortly after this, Iranian agents attacked her home; because she was absent when the authorities intruded, they beat her father and arrested her mother in her place.
A Pivotal Moment in History for Iran
These devastating acts of violence against the women of Iran in attempts to control them are utterly heartbreaking
They simultaneously reveal the regime’s tactics of fear, alarm, and retaliation.
In fact, Iranian authorities are currently proposing intensely stricter laws and much harsher punishments regarding hijab-wearing, in an attempt to stifle this rebellion.
We are presently witnessing the crux of Iran’s national transformation, all rooted in this committed fight.
Bita’s voice of bravery and opposition is one of many.
As we near the one-year anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death stemming from the original act of defiance against the evil Iranian regime, we are witnessing an escalated movement of boldness from the women of Iran, one that cannot be tamed.
It’s a battle for their rights, voice, and freedom.
They will no longer be silenced.
Not only are these brave women fearlessly vying for their autonomy, but they are also fighting for the rights of the discriminated minorities of Iran — the ethnic minorities, religious minorities, children, and other women of the Mideast for generations to come.
Despite the Iranian government’s ever-tightening chokehold on these valiant women, with the near certainty of death knocking at their doors, they relentlessly remain outraged, fighting for a freedom they have never personally known.
Their words and actions express the innate desire for freedom in the depths of every human heart.
A Western Voice for the Mideast
This writer grew up in Iran and is fully aware that this could be her life today, but it isn’t.
My eyes continue to remain open to the privileges she knows here in the West.
And still, this is why I fight for these women, my very people.
This writer can’t stand idly by without amplifying their voices.
Bita Shafiei is right; the world needs to hear them.
The power of social media has changed the global culture of today and has exceedingly remained the most powerful weapon in these protests.
Those of us in the West must now maintain the ability to speak out — and actually be heard — universally.
Our amplification of this message will transform this crucial, societal war for the people of Iran, in their fight for basic human rights.
We can and must help.
Rather than feeling far removed and helpless in this cause, we can also stand in solidarity with women like Bita and Masha.
Westerners can shift the culture by unapologetically sharing this news on social media without diluting the message as well as share the horrifying reality of life in today’s Iran.
If the world continues to stand in solidarity with the women of Iran, fighting alongside them, we will be their voice in times when they cannot speak for themselves.
No longer will these women be unheard. Their cry is loud, united and immutable.
“If you are not my voice and if you are not the voice for those who are in prison, then they can do whatever they want to do to me and to those who are in prison.
“So be our voice.
“I am after freedom for Iran.
“For you and for me.
“You who are afraid to come out: protect me.”
— Bita Shafiei
We are witness to the sights and sounds of forthcoming liberty for Iran.
Lana Silk is the CEO of – USA – Transform Iran, a nonprofit organization which seeks to transform Iran into a nation that bears the image of Christ. Silk was born and raised in Iran before emigrating to the UK where she completed her education at Imperial College, London. With over 20 years of marketing experience across all media, Lana considers it her life calling to represent and advocate for the people of Iran in the West.
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